Give Your Jack Daniel's Whiskey A Burst Of Fruity Flavor With Blackberries

Blackberries and Jack might be your new favorite flavor pairing — and if it is, you can thank us later. Jack Daniel's has a wide oeuvre of whiskeys, but, to be specific, we're talking about adding blackberries to Jack Daniel's signature Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey. Old No. 7 is made from a savory mash bill of 80% corn, 12% malted barley, and 8% rye distilled to 40% alcohol by volume (ABV). It's aged in white oak barrels and mellowed through sugar maple charcoal (and if you've ever wondered whether Old No. 7 is technically bourbon, the answer is ... complicated).

The result is a sweet, oaky flavor with tasting notes of butterscotch, smoke, vanilla, caramel, and pepper — and you can juxtapose that sweet-smoky spirit with a dark berry. The slight brightness from the blackberries cuts through Old No. 7's heaviness and lends welcome roundness to its rich caramel and pepper notes. To get the job done, both fresh blackberries and blackberry preserves work, here. 

Infusing your Jack Daniel's cocktail with blackberry flavor can be as simple as popping a few whole berries into the drink, stirring in a spoonful of jam, or muddling a few fresh blackberries in the bottom of a rocks glass. If you're feeling ambitious, you could whip out a little vinegar to transform those fresh blackberries into a shrub. Or, use up the last remnants of your blackberry preserves by assembling your whiskey bevy into a thrifty, flavorful jam jar cocktail.

A JackBerry dream come true

For more control over the flavor, use homemade blackberry preserves. If you opt for store-bought, look for a variety that isn't super-sweetened and doesn't have a ton of seeds, which can mess with the mouthfeel. Also on the note of mouthfeel, jam and preserves incorporate more easily into a smooth drink than chunkier jelly, which will likely require a trip in the shaker to break up. Now comes the fun part: The mixology brainstorm. 

You could swap the bourbon for Old No. 7 in this sweet-smoky Bourbon-Blackberry Cocktail with blackberry preserves, lemon, bitters, and cinnamon. Or, Jack Daniel's shares a recipe for the citrusy sweet Jack Blackberry Smash, which combines Old No. 7, fresh blackberries, lemon juice, and mint leaves for a dimensional finish. For a reimagined classic, you could assemble a blackberry Manhattan with Jack Daniel's, sweet vermouth, and bitters over a base of muddled fresh blackberries in the bottom of a rocks glass. 

A little blackberry jam would also elevate a classic Whiskey Smash, which already features balancing tart lemon; the frothy egg white cap would create a delicious dessert-like sipper. You could also whip up a blackberry Mint Julep or a berry John Collins with whiskey, lemonade, fresh blackberries, and an orange wheel to garnish. Stirring in a spoonful of blackberry preserves would also add dark berry depth to a sophisticated, punchy Vieux Carré cocktail with peppery Jack Daniel's, Cognac, sweet vermouth, herbaceous Bénédictine liqueur, and a handful of maraschino cherries.